Throughout the winter at the farm, we move the horses every month or two to a new pasture to graze. We throw open the gates, call them in high-pitched voices and lure them toward the open gate with a hay truck. They quickly figure out they are moving (literally) to greener pastures, and they soar past us to investigate their new home. The final (and longest) move takes place in early May. We move them about 5 miles through many fields to a pasture adjacent to headquarters. Having them close to home makes catching them for shoeing and hauling much easier. With such a long run, they have time to build up serious speed. I must say that watching a herd of 160 horses run at top speed over a long distance is a truly breath-taking event to witness.
We all had different assignments during the moving of the horses. Jim stood on the main road to stop traffic while the horses crossed it. Bob opened the gates to all the pastures through which they needed to run. Richard and I loaded hay and went to the first gate to lure the horses out of their pasture. The horses were not confused….they knew exactly what they were doing! They were all waiting at the gate, primed and ready to run. Here they are tearing out of their pasture:
Going, going, gone!
Here are Vinda and Geoff, our Icelandic horses, bringing up the rear with their best friend, Chico…this little group always puts a smile on my face:
Jim captured this next series of photographs beautifully…the herd running across the main road with the snow-capped Owl Creek mountains in the background. Doesn’t it make you want to go for a run yourself? I feel so free looking at these photographs:
Since we use the same route to run the horses every year, the horses settled immediately in their new pasture. We moved them on a cool day, so they were not even terribly sweaty upon arrival. They were also all injury-free! That is a successful Moving Day, if you ask me!